Heathrow Has Asked Airlines to Halt Ticket Sales Over the Holidays

Seen this movie, roll credits

UK, London, Tower Bridge at twilight with illuminated Christmas tree in the foreground

If London was in your holiday plans and you don’t already have tickets…London may no longer be in your holiday plans.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

But according to a new report from travel blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo, London Heathrow Airport has (once again) asked airlines to begin limiting the sale of tickets to some inbound international flights over the impending holidays — the saving grace being that British Airways is the only carrier that seems to be cooperating.

That said, searches for British Airways flights to Heathrow from a number of international hubs now yield zero results for most days of the week spanning December 23 to December 31, which is when the passenger cap is currently set to expire.

As Mateusz Maszczynski posits, it’s likely an indication of whats to come at immigration control points as Border Force officers are reportedly preparing to go on strike for eight days (the first walkout is set to begin December 23).

It’s not the first time the beleaguered airport has resorted to passenger caps, either. This past fall, due to staffing shortages, Heathrow announced that it would be limiting departing passengers to 100,000 per day through September 11 — a decision well received by…literally no one. So it stands to reason that this time around should go equally well, particularly with the holidays involved.

Of course, other airlines are still selling tickets, which means you can still fly into Heathrow if you feel so inclined. Further, outbound flights shouldn’t be impacted, nor should already-booked travel, though it’s probably worth noting that unaffected and pleasant are hardly synonymous.

Fortunately, as we wrote the last time this happened, there are also five other airports nearby (Gatwick probably being the one you know), and many of them are actually cheaper to get to and from London’s city center than Heathrow. You could also fly to Paris, Manchester or another city, spend some time there, and then just take a train to London (or use one of the smaller non-Heathrow airports if you must fly).


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